The high representative of the European Union (EU) for Foreign Policy, Josep Borrell, asked this Friday the United States to “reconsider” its decision to abandon the Open Skies Treaty, which guarantees transparency on arms control, and Russia to do it again immediately.
“As we continue to urge Russia to immediately return to full implementation of the treaty, I ask the United States to reconsider its decision” to exit that multilateral pact, Borrell said in a statement.
The head of community diplomacy said “regret” the announcement made this Thursday by US President Donald Trump that he will withdraw his country from the treaty, in which he also accused Russia of “perverting it”, while offering to Moscow to negotiate a new pact.
Borrell stressed that the pact is a “key element of our arms control architecture and serves as a vital measure of trust and security building.”
Since it came into force in 2002, the agreement has allowed more than 1,500 reconnaissance missions to be carried out on the territories of all the signatory countries, the Spanish politician recalled.
He said the treaty “provides transparency and predictability” and is “an important contribution to European and global security and stability.”
“All States parties must continue to recognize this and guarantee the full implementation of the treaty. Withdrawing from a treaty is not the solution to face difficulties in its implementation and compliance,” he emphasized.
Borrell also noted that the EU “will examine the implications” that the US decision may have “for its own security.”
The Open Skies Treaty of the European Security and Cooperation Organization (OSCE) allows its 34 member states to fly over any part of the territory of the rest of the participants, photographing from the air, with the aim of ensuring that their neighbors or rivals do not prepare attacks military.
Open Skies is the third major arms control treaty from which Trump has withdrawn since coming to power, after turning his back on the nuclear deal with Iran and breaking the Intermediate Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty with Russia. .
Only a single pact remains in force between the United States and Russia for the reduction of nuclear weapons, the New START, which expires in 2021 and which Moscow has proposed to renew without conditions, although Trump is committed to a new model of arms control with Russia that include China, which that country rejects.